Superman (Genesis)

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The box cover of the Sega Genesis version.

Superman is a video game developed by Sunsoft and published by Sunsoft in North America and by Virgin Interactive in Europe, for Sega Genesis, in 1992. Versions of the game for Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear were developed by Craftgold and published by Virgin Interactive in Europe, under the name Superman: The Man of Steel.

Gameplay

Superman is a 2D beat 'em up game where you beat up enemies across four levels, with the aid of three (more like "two", see section below) super powers. If you get to the end of each level, you will fight a boss. Some sections of the games have Superman flying and shooting enemies with his heat vision and play more like a side-scrolling shooter.

Why It Sucks

Note: this applies only to the Genesis version. Be aware, though, that the Master System and Game Gear versions are even worse.

  1. Superman is very weak and takes a great deal of damage even by just running into enemies, even normal humans like the first boss, the Prankster. Overall the game is very unbalanced.
  2. Superman has only three superpowers at his disposal: a super punch, which is weak and too short ranged, heat vision, which is weaker than the super punch, even when fully charged, and the power to drill through floors, useless against enemies.
  3. Broken level design and mechanics. You can jump off an edge and collide with an enemy that just entered the screen, with no actual possibilities to avoid it. In a section of the game, Superman has to fly up to the top of a skyscraper, but the screen is so full of enemies and super though airships, that the only safe way to make it through with enough health to fight the boss is to remain in the lower left corner of the screen and wait for the auto-scrolling to stop.
  4. The second level is nearly impossible to complete, because it takes place in a subway train, literally filled with enemies, with no room to jump to dodge their attacks. If you somehow manage to get to the boss, Metallo, you will have no choice but to resort to punch him as fast as possible, hoping that his health will go down before yours.
  5. The third boss battle takes place in mid-air, against a boss who is so fast that is nearly impossible to hit with the heat vision, let alone the super punch. He also has an attack that nearly fills the screen and can attack you with projecticles even when he is off-screen.
  6. Despite being very hard, due to its broken mechanics, the game gives you just a single life and a single continue, to beat it.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The graphics are fair. Superman has no face, though.
  2. The space level is enjoyable, but it's very short and it's nearly at the end of the game, so chances that you will get there aren't very high.
  3. The box art of every version looks good.

Reception

Superman was received with mixed to negative reviews, at the time of its release, with critics praising its sound and graphics but complaining about the lack of super powers in the game. Today the game still receives mixed to negative reviews by fans, with the Genesis version scoring 2.66 on gamefaqs. The Master System and Game Gear versions scores are respectively 1.93 and 1.25.